I’ve been asked several times about the following. “After relocating does anybody ever suffer from becoming homesick” As a person who could understand this feeling perhaps better than most I thought I’d explore a few traditional avenues of what being homesick really is all about. Homesickness is a subject not as simple as most people think it is. There’s so many variances most of which are not often thought of as even being homesick.
In my younger years as an underwater freelance photographer I’d often spend 80% or more of my time away from home. There were times when my assignments called for being alone or almost alone for considerable stretches of time. Being in countries that I didn’t speak the language I often had to rely on interpreters to get around and assist in getting the things I needed to get the job done.
Seriously it’s kinda hard to get your point across about photography to a guy with bone through his nose. So often I’ve thanked whatever is above that I had these interpreters channeling the various shades of grey.
So what is homesickness? I looked up several definitions and more or less came up with what appears to be the general description. “Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects”.
Traditional homesickness in a large part is true of the first part of the above assessment. During my traveling years I’ve agonized several times from that exact same feeling. As experience tends to be a wonderful teacher at least for me assisted in discovering one of the surest cures. When the feeling starts to overcome simply play music you’re familiar with.
Simple I know but when you’re alone in countries that are anything but familiar the best cure is to inject something that is familiar and nothing beats music. The best medicine for me was playing a bit of the Eagles or a dose of James Taylor. In extreme cases (mostly when I was drunk) it called for a stronger antidepressant. I had to break out the Jimmy Buffet. Since working on or around the sea most of my life Buffet’s lyrics seemed to sooth the loneliness and instead inject a feeling of being at home. Anyway as Jimmy would say that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I want to shift gears now and cover what’s going to come as a large surprise to many. The vast majority of folks I meet are already homesick!!! They Just aren’t aware of the fact!!! I know what most of you are already thinking. This time he’s really lost it and gone over the edge. But reacting so often precedes understanding so let me perhaps shed a bit of light as to where I’m coming from. Then in the end you’ll tell me crazy or cunning?
In our textbook definition of Homesickness I recall your attention to these final few words. “Preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects”. Almost all of my subscribers are already suffering from lack of attachment. Attachment to what initially made their house a home to begin with. Sure they’re still living in the same physical space but it’s feelings and attachments that made it home are for the most part GONE! So they feel LOST and in most cases Lonely. They miss what was once familiar. They’re searching for a missing feeling a craving that was once there.
Most times I hear this homesickness expressed in several yet similar ways. The more common of them being “this is not the same country as I grew up in…What happened nothing makes sense anymore… I miss the old day’s… No one talks to their neighbors any more… When I was a kid Etcetera Etc. Etc.” Any of this sound strangely familiar?
From my experience a large yet often overlooked part of homesickness is missing something you had in the past but no longer retained in the present. Perhaps something that you associate with growing up? A sort of the way it’s supposed to be internal feeling of just knowing it’s right. At a time in the past these feelings had to have been introduced into the blood. If not then how can it be missed to begin with? You can’t miss it if you never once experienced it. So often I find these kinds of missed feelings are expressed as “it once was or I remember when”.
Currently many of us are suffering from what amounts to almost a complete loss of family values. Helplessly watching personal relationships fade only to be replaced by their online imposters. Family meals together somehow transformed into GMO fast food assemblies where the only family interaction occurs when each member is grabbing their own separately bagged Mc Happy meal. From there swoosh their gone off to TV land or computer ville while you’re left there standing alone wondering WTF is happening to my family? Better yet WTF is happening to our lives?
No profound family values can be established while living in a demoralize society. They’re LONG GONE and what’s left is the form of homesickness I’m now referring to. That feeling of emptiness lingers like a heroin monkey that just won’t go away. Reminds me of another of my favorite groups I used to listen to while overseas. The group Meatloaf sums up the point I’m trying to convey. “I know you’re looking for your ruby in a mountain of rock. But there ain’t no Coupe De Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box”.
Perhaps understanding that being well adjusted to a profoundly demoralized society is no measure of one’s good health. Seems that more of my readers are grasping onto the above statement and are finally beginning to commence doing something about it. It’s nice to witness positive change whenever or wherever it occurs.
So after reading this post still think I’ve lost it? It’s cool if you do but remember I’m not the one who’s looking for change. Every piece of the puzzle that falls into place assists in providing clarity and a better understanding of what the big picture really is all about. Until next time this is Barry in DR.